In 2009, Richmond won an All-America City Award from the National Civic League for outstanding civic accomplishments. The Third Grade Reading Academy was one of the successful local programs highlighted in their application for the award.
Jointly funded by the school district now, the academy is in its fourth year, and word of its success has spread. Two communities in Canada are now using it as a model for their summer reading programs, although they are using a different name, the Reading University. “They can call it anything they want to,” says Vic Jose, one of the academy founders, “as long as they are helping third graders reach their potential.”
Here is a blog post I did on the reading academy for State of the Re:Union. And here is Jeff's more recent video highlighting the program.
The 2012 All-America City Awards will have a special focus on community reading programs. Find out more by linking here.